Angela (comics)

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Angela, drawn by Sara Pichelli, in her new appearance, as conceived by Joe Quesada.
Publication information
Publisher Image Comics (March 1993 – December 2000)
Marvel Comics (March 2013 – Present)
First appearance Spawn #9 (Image, March 1993)
Age of Ultron #10 (Marvel, June 2013)
Created by Neil Gaiman
Todd McFarlane
In-story information
Species Angel
Team affiliations Heaven
Guardians of the Galaxy
Abilities Immortality, Strength, Flight, Trained Warrior

Angela is a fictional comic book character created by writer Neil Gaiman and artist Todd McFarlane. The character first appeared as a supporting antagonist in McFarlane's creator-owned series Spawn, making her debut in issue #9 of that series (March 1993). She proved to be a popular character, and later starred in her own self-titled miniseries. She was later the subject of a legal battle between McFarlane and Gaiman over the rights to the character, which saw Gaiman victorious. She would later appear in books published by Marvel Comics, beginning with the 2013 "Age of Ultron" storyline, with her character to be expanded on in Guardians of the Galaxy.

Publication history[edit]

Angela is a recurring adversary and ally of Spawn, and is often featured in the series. Her debut was in issue Spawn #9, but she has since appeared in issues #62, #89, and #96 through #100.

In 1994 and 1995, a three-issue Angela limited series was published, written by Gaiman and illustrated by Greg Capullo. The series was later reprinted in a trade paperback titled Angela Trade Paperback (a.k.a. Spawn: Angela's Hunt where in later printings it was retitled as under a new cover design) (ISBN 1-887279-09-1), which, as of 2005, is out-of-print. There was also an Angela stand-alone comic (1995).

Angela has also been featured in several crossovers. The "Rage of Angels" miniseries saw Angela meeting Glory in Angela and Glory (1996), and was continued in Youngblood #6 (1996) and Team Youngblood #21. There was also a crossover Aria/Angela, featuring Angela in the series Aria.

Comic Book Resources confirmed on March 21, 2013 that Neil Gaiman was returning to Marvel Comics and would bring Angela with him. Joe Quesada was quoted as saying her first appearance as a proper Marvel character would happen at the finale of the "Age of Ultron" event.[1]

On May 9, 2013 Entertainment Weekly published the first image of Angela as redesigned by Joe Quesada for her appearances in books published by Marvel Comics.[2]

Fictional character biography[edit]

Angela is an angel who acts opposite Spawn as a bounty hunter working under the auspices of Heaven. She attempted to kill Spawn upon their first meeting, but was defeated despite her significantly greater experience. Later he came to her aid during her trial in Heaven, he was there to testify that she had permission to kill him – they were temporarily trapped in a pocket dimension when Spawn's cloak acted to protect him from her weapons. Spawn's instinctive restructuring of reality that allowed them to return erased Angela's 'permit' to use her weapons against him, and they started a romantic relationship while returning to Earth. Angela was killed during the battle with Malebolgia.

During the Age of Ultron storyline, Angela is revealed to have been pulled into the Marvel Universe as a result of damage to the multiverse.[3] In a combination of rage and confusion, she charged towards the Earth from outer space only to be intercepted by the Guardians of the Galaxy.[4]

Legal rights[edit]

In 1993 McFarlane contracted Neil Gaiman (along with three other recognized authors, Alan Moore, Dave Sim, and Frank Miller) to write one issue of Spawn. While doing so, Gaiman introduced the characters Angela, Cogliostro, and Medieval Spawn. All three characters were co-created and designed by series creator Todd McFarlane. All continued to be featured in the series after Gaiman's involvement, and some had tie-ins with McFarlane's toy company. Cogliostro had a prominent role in the live-action movie in 1997. McFarlane had initially agreed that Gaiman retained creator rights on the characters, but later claimed that Gaiman's work had been work-for-hire and that McFarlane owned all of Gaiman's co-creations entirely, pointing to the legal indicia in Spawn #9 and the lack of legal contract stating otherwise. McFarlane had also refused to pay Gaiman for the volumes of Gaiman's work he republished and kept in print. In 2002, Gaiman filed suit and won a sizeable judgement against McFarlane and Image Comics for the rights due any creator. All three characters were then co-owned 50/50 by both men. In 2012, McFarlane and Gaiman settled their dispute,[5] and Gaiman was given full ownership of Angela.[6]

On March 21, 2013, Comic Book Resources announced that Angela would be introduced into the Marvel Comics Universe as a major character later in the year to coincide with Neil Gaiman's return to the company.[1] BleedingCool later confirmed that Marvel Comics had completely bought the rights to Angela from Gaiman.[7]

In other media[edit]


In 1995 and 1996, Angela was nominated for, but did not win, a number of Wizard Fan Awards: 1995 Favorite Villainess, 1995 Character Most Deserving of Own Ongoing Title, 1995 Favorite One-shot or Limited Series/Miniseries, and 1996 Favorite Heroine.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Sunu, Steve (March 21, 2013). "Gaiman Returns to Marvel, Brings Spawn's Angela". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on March 23, 2013. Retrieved March 23, 2013. "Later this year, writer Neil Gaiman makes his return to Marvel Comics...Perhaps even more intriguing is the announcement that Gaiman plans to introduce Angela to the Marvel U." 
  2. ^ Boucher, Geoff. "FIRST LOOK: Neil Gaiman's avenging Angela will make Marvel history". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  3. ^ Age of Ultron #10
  4. ^ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 #5
  5. ^ Phegley, Kiel. "GAIMAN & MCFARLANE SETTLE SUIT ON MEDIEVAL SPAWN, ANGELA". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 10 April 2013. 
  6. ^ Ching, Albert. "TODD MCFARLANE Reacts to the Marvel/ANGELA Situation". Newsarama. Retrieved 10 April 2013. 
  7. ^ Johnson, Rich. "Marvel Owns Angela – But No, Karen Gillan Won’t Be Playing Her In Guardians Of The Galaxy". BleedingCool. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 

External links[edit]